Thursday, November 6, 2014

What's In A Name? by Susan Tuttle

So I recently started a new WIP and, as such, was digging into my characters. I have to say, it’s one of my favorite parts of writing. Getting to know them. Searching for their faces. Learning about their idiosyncrasies. But one part that can stump me is their names.

Do I go with something from the year they were born? Or something that tops the 2014 most popular list? I mean, I write contemporary, so really, the door stands wide open. Is my character born in the country or a city girl? Blonde or brunette? I can pour over lists on all afternoon. It’s like naming one of my children all over again! Because the name has to fit, it works not only with the mood of the story but also helps shape the picture of the character being created.

You can make a name something the character has fought their whole life or deepen how the reader views them. You can have it be a part of the theme you’re weaving or finally get to use that name you would have given one of your kiddos if you’d had more—don’t laugh, I’ve done it:) There are endless options. So I’m curious…how do other writers pick names? What is the most important aspect of grabbing that label for your hero or heroine? And, as a reader, what do you like to see in a character’s name? Would you ever name a city girl Talulah or a businessman Chet?

I’d love to hear how and where you come up with names. So tell me, what’s in a name when you’re writing?


Susan Tuttle
Susan Tuttle is a homeschooling mom of three who is crazy about coffee, dark chocolate, and words—both reading and writing them. Combine that love of words with her passion for leading women to a life-changing encounter with Christ, and you’ll find her crafting Inspirational Contemporary Romance stories laced with humor, love, and healing transformations. When not cheering on her Ironman hubby, chasing the family dog, or tackling complex math problems to teach her kids (yes, even the third grader), you can catch Susan at her blog, Steps.